5.9k Share this

He took the highway to jail.

A Montana steakhouse owner has pleaded guilty to misusing COVID-19 relief money he received for his restaurant to buy several vintage cars — including a 1916 Studebaker.

Prosecutors say 70-year-old Michael Bolte, who runs the Feedlot Steakhouse in Shepherd, Montana, had received a $75,000 disaster relief loan from the Small Business Administration in May 2020, but used the cash to buy four classic automobiles instead.

SBA disaster loans are only supposed to be used as working capital for a business.

But Bolte allegedly had been in talks since February of that year to purchase several old cars from an estate because he saw them as an investment opportunity, prosecutors said.

Eleven days after Bolte received the check from the government for his restaurant, he bought four cars from the estate for $75,000. The vehicles included the Studebaker, a 1929 Franklin, a 1939 Ford Deluxe and a 1941 Ford Super Deluxe.

“Federal programs, like the one at issue here, don’t work when people cheat,” said Leif Johnson, U.S. Attorney for Montana. “If someone like Bolte applies for federal program funds intended to help businesses survive the pandemic, but buys classic cars instead, that deprives other deserving applicants of the opportunity to use the funds.”

An attorney for Bolte didn’t immediately return a call for comment.

Bolte opened the Feedlot Steakhouse — a 4,600-square-foot restaurant, bar and casino modelled to look like a log cabin — in 1997. He followed in a family tradition, as his grandfather opened the first A&W restaurant in Missoula, Montana in the early 1950s.

As part of his guilty plea, Bolte has agreed to forfeit the vehicles to the government. He faces up to a year in federal prison and a $100,000 fine when he is sentenced in April.

Source: This post first appeared on http://marketwatch.com/

5.9k Share this
You May Also Like

You Can Watch The First 8 Minutes Of ‘Stranger Things 4’ For Free Before It Comes To Netflix

Stranger Things 4 Credit: Netflix The fourth season of Stranger Things is…

The Market Is Melting Down and People Are Feeling It. ‘My Stomach Is Churning All Day’

The last time Todd Jones heard this kind of panic in his…

A homage to weird and wonderful BTC purchases

Happy Bitcoin Pizza Day! Before you dial for a Margherita to commemorate…

‘Downton Abbey 2’ Nabs Okay $16 Million Weekend

Downton Abbey – A New Era Focus Features As noted yesterday, Focus…

Hyundai Plans $5.5 Billion Factory Complex in Georgia for Electric Vehicles

Hyundai Motor Group said Friday it plans to build a $5.5 billion…

Baseball and Business Need Metrics to Hit a Home Run

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. As a young girl…

Serious people to stay in crypto despite market setbacks, says CCI CEO Sheila Warren

During the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2022, Sheila Warren, the CEO of…

Jared Dishes On Lab-Created Diamond Collection With Bridal Star Pnina Tornai, Retail Spaces, And Men’s Jewelry

Exterior shot of a typical Jared jewelry store. Photo Courtesy of Jared…